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Duch. If so, then be not tongue-ty’d: go with me, And in the breath of bitter words let's smother. My damned son, that thy two sweet sons smother’d.
.. . [Drum, within. I hear his drum,- be copious in exclaims.
Enter King RICHARD, and his Train, marching. K. Rich. Who intercepts me in my expedition?
Duch. (), she, that might have intercepted thee, By strangling thee in her accursed womb, From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done.
Q. Eliz. Hid'st thou that forehead with a golden crown, Where should be branded, if that right were right, The slaughter of the prince that ow'd that crown, 6 And the dire death of my poor sons, and brothers? Tell me, thou villain-slave, where are my children? Duch. Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy brother Cla
rence? And little Ned Plantagenet, his son?
Q. Eliz. Where is the gentle Rivers, Vaughan, Grey? Duch. Where is kind Hastings?
K. Rich. A flourish, trumpets !-strike alarum, drums! Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women Rail on the Lord's anointed: Strike, I say.
Duch. Art thou my son?
6 that ow'd that crown,] i. e. that possessed it. So, in King John:
“Which owe the crown that thou o'ermasterest." Steevens. 7- a touch of your condition,] A spice or particle of your temper or disposition. Fohnson. So, in Chapman's translation of the 24th Iliad:
" his cold blood embrac'd a fiery touch
“Of anger,” &c.
" if any touch appear
That cannot brook the accent of reproof.
Duch. O, let me speak.
Do, then; but I 'll not hear.
Duch. Art thou so hasty? I'have'staid for thee,
K. Rich. And came J not at last to comfort you?
Duch. No, by the holy rood, thou know'st it well,
8 Tetchy -] Is touchy, peevish, fretful, ill-temper'd. Ritson. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
" To see it tetchy, and fall out with the dug -.” Steevens. 9 That ever grac'd me) To grace seems here to mean the same as to bless, to make happy. So, gracious is kind, and graces are favours. Johnson. We find the same expression in Macbeth:
“ Please it your highness
« To grace us with your royal company.” Steevens. 1- Humphrey Hour,] This may probably be an allusion to some affair of gallantry of which the Duchess had been suspected. I cannot find the name in Holinshed. Surely the poet's fondness for a quibble has not induced him at once to personify and christen that hour of the day which summon'd his mother to breakfast.
So, in The Wit of a Woman, 1604: “Gentlemen, time makes us brief: our old mistress, Houre, is at hand”
Shakspeare might indeed by this strange phrase (Humphrey Hour) have designed to mark the hour at which the good Duchess was as hungry as the followers of Duke Humphrey.
The common cant phrase of dining with Duke Humphrey, I have never yet heard satisfactorily explained. It appears, however, from a satyrical pamphlet called The Guls Hornbook, 1609, written by T. Deckar, that in the ancient church of St. Paul, one of aisles was called Duke Humphrey's Walk; in which those who had no means of procuring a dinner, affected lo loiter. Deckar
To breakfast once, forth of my company.
concludes his fourth chapter thus: “By this, I imagine you have walked your bellyful, and thereupon being weary, or (which is rather, I beleeve) being most gentleman-like hungry, it is fit that as I brought you unto the duke, so (because he followes the fashion of great men in keeping no house, and that therefore you must go secke your dinner,) suffer me to take you by the hand and leade you into an ordinary.” The title of this chapter is, “How a gallant should behave himself in Powles Walkes."
Hall, in the 7th Satire, B. III, seems to confirm this interpre. tation:
66°Tis Ruffio: Trow'st thou where he din'd to-day?
Hall's Satires, edit. 1602, p. 60. See likewise Foure Letters and certain Sonnets, by Gabriel Harvey, 1592: .- to seeke his dinner in Poules with duke Humphrey: to licke dishes, to be a beggar.”
Again, in The Return of the Knight of the Post, &c. by Nash, 1606: “ - in the end comming into Poules, to behold the old duke and his guests,” &c.
Again, in A wonderful, strange, and miraculous Prognostication, for this year, &c. 1591, by Nash: “ - sundry fellowes in their sikes shall be appointed to keepe duke Humfrye company in Poules, because they know not where to get their dinners abroad.”
If it be objected that duke Humphrey was buried at St. Albans, let it likewise be remembered that cenotaphs were not uncom. mon. Steevens.
It appears from Stowe’s Survey, 1598, that Sir John Bewcampe, son to Guy, and brother to Thomas, Earls of Warwick, who dyed in 1358, had “a faire monument" on the south side of the body of St. Paul's Church. "He," says Stowe, “is by ignorant people misnamed to be Humphrey Duke of Gloster, who lyeth honourably buried at Saint Albans, twentie miles from London: And therefore such as merily professe themselues to serue Duke Hum.phrey in Powles, are to bee punished here, and sent to Saint Albans, there to be punished againe, for theyr absence from theyr maister, as they call him.” Ritson.
Humphrey Hour,] I believe nothing more than a quibble was meant. In our poet's twentieth Sonnet we find a similar conceit; a quibble between hues (colours) and Hughes, (formerly spelt Hewes) the person addressed. Malone...
I pr’ythee, hear me 'speak.
Hear me a word; For I shall never speak to thee again.
K. Rich. So.
Duch. Either thou wilt die, by God's just ordinance, Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror; Or I with grief and extreme age shall perish, And never look upon thy face again. Therefore, take with thee my most heavy curse; Which, in the day of battle, tire thee more, Than all the complete armour that thou wear'st! My prayers on the adverse party fight; And there the little souls of Edward's children Whisper the spirits of thine enemies, And promise them success and victory. Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end; Shame serves thy life,2 and doth thy death attend. [Exit. Q. Eliz. Though far more cause, yet much less spirit
to curse Abides in me; I say amen to her.
[Going. K. Rich. Stay, madam,3 I must speak a word with you.
Q. Eliz. I have no more sons of the royal blood, For thee to murder: for my daughters, Richard, They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens; And therefore level not to hit their lives.
K. Rich. You have a daughter call’d-Elizabeth, Virtuous and fair, royal and gracicus.
Q. Eliz. And must she die for this? O, let her live, And I'll corrupt her manners, stain her beauty; Slander myself, as false to Edward's bed;
2 Shame serves thy life,] To serve is to accompany, servants be. ing near the persons of their masters. Johnson.
3 Stay, madam,] On this dialogue 'tis not necessary to bestow much criticism, part of it is ridiculous, and the whole improbable Johnson.
I cannot agree with Dr. Johnson's opinion I see nothing ridiculous in any part of this dialogue; and with respect to probability, it was not unnatural that Richard, who by his art and wheedling tongue, had prevailed on Lady Anne to marry him in her heart's extremest grief, should hope to persuade an ambitious, and, as he thought her, a wicked woman, to consent to his marriage with her daughter, which would make her a queen, and aggrandize her family. M. Mason.
Throw over her the veil of infamy:
K. Rich. Wrong not her birth, she is of royal blood. 4
Q. Eliz. True, when avoided grace makes destiny:
K. Rich. You speak, as if that I had slain my cousins.
Q. Eliz. Cousins, indeed; and by their uncle cozen'd Of comfort, kingdom, kindred, freedom, life. Whose hands soever lanc'd their tender hearts, Thy head, all indirectly, gave direction :? No doubt the murderous knife was dull and blunt, Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart, 8 To revel in the entrails of my lambs. But that still use of grief makes wild grief tame,
4 — she is of royal blood.] The folio reads--she is a royal princess. Steevens.
5 Lo, at their births - ] Perhaps we should read - No, at their births - Tyrwhitt. 6 All unavoided 8C]i. e. unavoidable. So, before :
“Whose unavoided eye is dangerous.” Malone. 7 Thy head, all indirectly, gave direction: This is a jingle in which Shakspeare perhaps found more delight than his readers. So, in Hamlet :
" By indirections find directions out.” The same opposition of words occurs also in K. John. Steevens.
8 Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart,] This conceit seems also to have been a great favourite of our author. We meet with it more than once. So, in King Henry IV, P. II:
“ Thou hid'st a thousand daggers in thy thoughts,
“ To stab,” &c.
“Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew,
“ Thou mak’st thy knife keen - ." Steevens. 9 still use -] i.e. constant use. So, in King Richard II:
“A generation of still breeding thoughts." Steevens.